North Carolina legislature seeks to defer road tests for young drivers

RALEIGH, N.C. — The General Assembly wants to let more young people begin driving on their own even though the North Carolina DMV isn’t offering required behind-the-wheel right now tests due to COVID-19 health worries.

The full House and a Senate committee approved separate measures on Wednesday that would set aside the behind-the-wheel test for teenagers seeking a limited provisional license.

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Students must still log 60 hours of driving with a parent before seeking such a license.

Under House Bill 1189 Driver Education Covid-19 Response, they are still required to complete 15 hours of classroom instruction and at least six hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. The waiver expires once the DMV resumes road tests, or 180 days from the effective date of the act, whichever happens first.

The House bill also addresses what happens to young people who could only partially complete the classroom instruction needed to receive their initial permit before schools closed.

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